Social Enterprise Spotlight – 12 Guitars

Posted: 09 July 2019, in News

Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Gerry Thorogood and 12 Guitars. Read and share their Q&A interview below! Get in contact with Gerry on

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?

12 Guitars provides guitars, equipment and access to tuition and support free at the point of use to make guitar playing accessible to all young people in Scotland. We passionately believe that guitar playing offers young people the opportunity to develop so many life skills as well as musical competencies.

How do you do it? (client group, practical daily work, customers etc)

We have a team of experienced, guitar-lovingbusiness people. We workin partnership with established youth groups to engage with young people. We are building a programme of revenue generating activities and relationships with suppliers in the music industry and corporate organisations to ensure we have the finance to deliver our vision.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?

I have been fortunate enough to have been working for all of the last 41 years since starting as a Business Trainee in 1978. I commenceddelivering mentoring services with The Prince’s Trust in 2018 and decided that I wanted to combine my business experience and love of guitars to support young people in Scotland.

What are your current projects?

We have been creating awareness and building up our library of loan instruments.  We are converting a double-decker bus “The No 12”into a recording studio, practice studio, guitar-tech workshop, learning space and meeting place. We have two pilot projects commencing. One in Govan in Glasgow and one in Central Scotland (details to be announced soon)

What exciting things do you have coming up?

We have our launch party on August 24th at the Glasgow Caring City Warehouse, on Govan Road across from the Hydro and the BBC studios.We have bands and solo artists,a Live Prize Riff Quiz and actor Atta Yaqub as our MC. We are currently trying to secure an established guitar player as our first patron.

Who do you want to work with more?

Once we have completed the pilot-projects we will broaden engagement to other cities, towns and villages.  We will accelerate our engagement with the Corporate sector. Whether to have a pop-up guitar donation point in the staff canteen, a fund-raising live Riff-Quiz or to offer staff volunteering opportunities, we wantdevelop this strand of activity.

What’s your biggest challenge?

We have our sights high andhave lots of ideas, however we recognise the need to build a strong foundation at the outset. To get the balance right, we are taking an Agile approach to what we are doing and building on incremental steps and successes whilst keeping an eye on the overall strategic direction.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?

Although we have third-sector experience in the team, we are newcomers to the Third Sector as an organisation. I would advise other social enterprises to be open and engage with other like-minded organisations early.  We’ve been overwhelmed by how willing other people are to give you their time to help you.